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2006 News Archive


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Twin Fire & Rescue Gets Grant ( October 2006 )


Hackleburg sixth grade teacher indicted on federal sex charge By  J. Mays

Wal-Mart Supercenter To Be Built


Twin Fire & Rescue Service selects E-One

Hamilton Man Being Held In Kentucky, Charged Under New State Law

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.

Saddam Executed

Christopher Dewayne Revis Sentenced to Death

RIDING FOR A FALL by Margaret Bzovy










RIDING FOR A FALL by Margaret Bzovy

Known as a good shot, Reuben "Rube" Houston Burrows had a price on his head so tempting that he worried that his own gang might want to take advantage of the reward. The total price the Pinkerton Detectives offered for Rube Burrows, dead or alive was $7,500, enough to make Rube sleep, if he could manage it, with his finger on the trigger.

Rube Burrows was born in 1854 in Lamar County, Alabama. A tall, six foot, lean farm boy with nervous cold, blue eyes that never looked another man in the face. His light sandy hair and thin mustache were sometimes colored dark in an attempt to hide his identity. He was considered a good horseman with quick action in a get away.

Rube and his brother, Jim had grown tired of farm work and went hell-bent into the Oklahoma Indian territory to do some rustling. Their nervous energy sought excitement. It soon proved to be too risky an operation when the Indians refused to give up their animals and gave chase to these two farm lads. The boys rode for Texas in order to loose their excited, wild pursuers.

The Burrow brothers took a liking to the Texas railroads after they found out how much money was being transported over the rails. They soon began to stop the trains and relieve them of their money box. The train robberies paid off good money and the thrill of stopping the huge black, smoking engine was just the challenge Rube enjoyed.

Rube managed to meet a few unsavory men to help him and his brother with their new enterprise and every train through the Texas area was getting the Burrows treatment. The Pinkerton Detective agency was soon hired to end the train robberies. It didn't take the lawmen long to locate the
whereabouts of the Burrows gang and on January 20, 1888, when Rube and his followers stopped their next train, the Pinkertons were there in wait. Rube shot his way free, but his brother Jim was captured along with some of the other men. Jim was thrown into jail where he served 9 months. His only path of escape was on the coat tails of death. Jim came down with a serious fever and died.

Rube ran all the way back to Lamar County, Alabama to hide himself. He rubbed a darkener in his hair and changed into different type of clothes and sulked around the family farm for a while. He missed his brother Jim and began to look around for men he felt he could trust. He found a couple of men to hang around with and the Burrows gang was back stopping trains. Rube shot and killed a passenger who unfortunately got in his way and the postmaster who refused to give up the money box.

The Pinkertons were hot on Rube's trail. The killing of the postmaster didn't set well and they were more than ever determined to bring Rube Burrows and his gang to a final end. The lawmen watched all the railroad lines through out Alabama.

One by one Rube's followers fell away. They were either killed, captured or disappeared voluntarily. Rube found himself alone. Still, this didn't stop Rube. He decided to hold up the Louisville and Nashville train by himself. He had heard a good sum of money was being transported. Rube had stopped trains long enough to know what to do and he believed he could easily do it by himself. He was ready at a location where the train had to slow down and he loped along beside the mail car rapping with the butt of his gun on the door. "Open up. Got a load for ya,'" Rube hollered. To his call the door slide open and Rube jumped aboard. He robbed the mail car without any interference and dropped off the train with several thousands dollars.

Time came when Rube had to face the ultimate fact of realism. The reward on his head was too good to pass off and a man named Carter drew his gun on Rube. There was a short skirmish and Carter shot and killed Rube.

It was a cloudy, gray afternoon on October 2, 1890, when Rube collapsed face down in the dust. He was thirty-six years old. The whistle from the passing train engine echoed across the land, but Rube Burrows would not be around to stop the smoking, black beast.

Used with permission of writer from Western Writers Newsletter May 05


Twin Fire & Rescue Gets Grant

The Twin Fire & Rescue Service, in cojunction with the offices of Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, are proud to annouce the department is the recepient of a 2006 "Assistance to Firefighters" grant in the amount of $171,000. The department will use the funds to purchase the fire new fire engine the department has ever owned.

The department applied for the grant this past spring and was notified of the award in late September. The department will be required to match 5%, or $9000 of the total amount of the grant.

The department covers an area of approximately 15 square miles in southern Marion County covering the Town of Twin and surrounding areas. Total population served by the department is approximately 500, making the department the smallest in Marion County.

The department was founded in 2003 shortly after the Town of Twin was incorporated. Currently the department has 20 members. The department provides fire suppression, vehicle extrication and emergency medical services to the community.

The department responds to emergency calls from a 5 bay station located on Marion County Highway 83 with an engine, a rescue/engine service truck, a brush truck and a tanker truck.

The new engine will be constructed on a Freightliner chassis with a 330 horsepower engine, have a 1250 gallon per minute pump, a 1000 gallon water tank and be outfitted with the all the required firefighting equipment.

Members are currently evaluating various brands of fire apparatus and should make a decision shortly. Once the truck is ordered delivery will take place in 6 to 8 months.



Story by J. Mays

A little over two months ago, nobody knew the name John Mark Karr.  That is, nobody but a handful of people…his family…their acquaintances…his classmates and teachers.  Now, he is recognized by millions of people.
I thought of these facts Monday night while I watched John Mark Karr as he talked to Larry King on CNN’s Larry King Live program.
John Mark Karr is a free man.  He was released as a suspect in the murder of Jon-Benet Ramsey because his DNA did not match the DNA found at the murder scene in Colorado.  He was released and the charges were dropped because of lost evidence in the case against him in California.  Today, John Mark Karr is a free man.
John told Larry King how he was so glad to be in America and to be an American citizen.  He said that after being out of the United States for the last five years, he remembered how good it was to live in the United States and have the freedoms that we have.  He also said he could not talk about the Jon-Benet Ramsey case on the advice of his attorneys.
John Mark Karr said he was going to be with his dad for a while.  His dad, Wexford Karr, is 84 years old and lives in Georgia.
Whether we like it or not, our legal system works the same for all American Citizens.  John Mark Karr is a free man and the system worked for him. 

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)


Hackleburg sixth grade teacher indicted on federal sex charges By  J. Mays

On Wednesday September 27, 2006, Timothy Wayne Gentle, a Sixth Grade teacher at Hackleburg Elementary, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for one count of knowingly engaging in sexual contact. The indictment is the result of a sting operation conducted by US Fish and Wildlife and Alabama conservation officers over a four day period from July 20-23 at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge located in Limestone and Morgan counties. Mr Gentle was one of 28 people indicted from the sting operation and one of four indicted for felony charges. 

The federal indictment on Mr Gentle was announced on September 27, 2006 in a press conference conducted out of the Birmingham office of U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Alice H. Martin. Mr Gentle will be arraigned on the felony charge on Thursday October 12, 2006 in the Federal Courthouse in Birmingham. The maximum penalty for these charges is two years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

 Sources stated that Mr Gentle is out on paid suspension from the Marion County Board of Education, pending an investigation.  

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)


Wal-Mart Supercenter To Be Built By Wayne Mays (Editor 49 County News.Net)

WINFIELD - Wal-Mart Corporate Communications announces June 30, 2006 that a new Wal-Mart Supercenter will be built in Winfield, AL. It is to be located on the corner of US Hwy 43 and County Road 69. The new Supercenter will be 104,902 square feet and offer a wide selection of grocery items in addition to general merchandise. The store will also have a pedestrian cross walk from the front of the store to US Hwy 43.




HAMILTON – Jury selection began Monday morning, November 13, 2006, at the Marion County Court House in Hamilton, Alabama, in the capital murder trial of Christopher D. Revis, 28, for the February 2004 murder of Gerald “Jerry” Wayne Stidham of Hamilton. Revis is one of three members of a family charged in the murder. Revis’s brother Jason, 25, and uncle, Eddie Dean Revis, 48, have also been charged in connection with the death.

Of approximately 180 people called for jury selection on Monday, November 13, 2006, only 56 showed up. After questioning by Marion County District Attorney, Jack Bostick and Attorney for the defense, Tony Glenn, 12 jurors and 2 alternates were seated for the jury. The two alternates would not be announced until deliberations began.

Three days after the trial began, and after approximately 2 hours of deliberations, the jury came back with a verdict of Guilty in the murder case against Chris Revis. The next day, Thursday, November 16, 2006, they came back from deliberating 1½hours to return the sentence of death. This was the first documented jury-recommended death penalty in Marion County history.

Marion County Sheriff, Kevin Williams, said the verdict and penalty were justified. He said that the jury had a hard decision to make but he felt this was a step forward for our judicial system because it shows that people will be held accountable for their actions. 

Sheriff Williams commended all the offices involved in the case investigation. He gave credit for the success of the case to Investigators Tommy Moore, Ronnie Vickery, Ted Smith and Ken Mays and all the offices involved in working together for the successful solution to the case. 

District Attorney Jack Bostick said that no dates had been set as to when the other defendants, Eddie Revis and Jason Revis, will be brought to trial. 

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)


Twin Fire & Rescue Service selects E-One

After over a month of evaluations the members of the Twin Fire & Rescue Service have selected E-One as the manufacturer of their new fire engine. E-One is the second largest manufacturer of fire apparatus in the United States and is based in Ocala, Florida. The truck was sold to the department by Kevin Halstead of Sunbelt Fire Equipment of Fairhope, Alabama. Total cost of the truck and equipment was $179,400.

"We took our time and made sure we were getting a truck that not only was well made but would serve our department and community and was the most truck for the buck" said Twin Fire Chief Heath Spann. "This was probably the largest single purchase our department will ever make so we wanted to make sure we were getting the best truck on the market. E-One and Sunbelt have been great to work with and we look forward to getting the truck", said Spann. Delivery of the truck is expected in May or June of 2007.

The truck will be built on an International chassis with a 330 horsepower International diesel engine, Alison 5 speed automatic transmission, 1250 gallon per minute pump with a 1000 gallon water tank and a built-in 30 gallon foam tank.  "We got everything we were looking for in a truck within our budget of $180,000", said Twin Board President Doug Barnes.  "

We looked at Pierce, KME and E-One and felt the E-One was the best built and had all the features we were looking for and then some", said Barnes. "And, we got good recommendations from members of the Pea Ridge Volunteer Fire Department on their dealings with E-One and Sunbelt", said Barnes. The Pea Ridge Volunteer Fire Department purchased an E-One fire engine from Sunbelt Fire Equipment in 2004.

The truck was first scheduled to be built on a Freightliner chassis with a Cummins engine but on-going issues between the two companies on 2007 emissions standards forced E-One to switch to an International chassis. "We originally wanted an International chassis but they were more expensive. The change in chassis was made at no additional cost to the department so everyone is happy with the change", said Barnes.

"Everyone on the department is pleased with the selection of E-One" said Capt. Phillip Markham. "We're just anxiously waiting for delivery of the truck now".

Members of the department would like to thank Twin residents for their support in recent fund raising activities to raise the required matching portion of the grant funds. "As always our residents have stepped-up and helped us to raise the required funds" said Chief Spann. "We are close to having the required $9,000 matching portion of the grant but still like a little and will be holding additional fund raising activities next spring and invite our residents to come out and support us", said Chief Spann.


"Sunbelt Fire and E-One are very proud that the Twin Fire & Rescue Service has selected us for the manufacturer of their new fire apparatus. The new apparatus will truly be a piece of life saving equipment that will be around for a very long time. Sunbelt Fire and E-One will be behind the Twin Fire & Rescue as they take care of their community for many years to come. When this truck is delivered it will be a big day for not only for their community but for our company as well."

 Thomas McClendon


Sunbelt Fire Equipment 


Hamilton Man Being Held In Kentucky, Charged Under New State Law

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A Hamilton man has been charged under a brand new Kentucky law that makes it a crime to use electronic communication to encourage a minor to engage in sex. Larry Lee Lucas, 30, of Hamilton has been accused of using a cell phone and the internet to communicate with a juvenile in Kentucky. Lucas was charged with the unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities. Lucas is the first person Kentucky State Police have charged under the new state law. Lucas also was charged with unlawful transaction with a minor. Sources stated Lucas was extradited from Alabama on Monday, and was being held in the Shelby County jail, about 30 miles east of Louisville.

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

By J. M ays

(Hamilton) - On Tuesday, November 14, 2006 City of Hamilton Street Department Employees Donald Burgett and Daryll Ray (not pictured) are seen making preparation for the upcoming holiday season by doing the yearly chore of hanging the city’s Christmas decorations on there respective light poles. They do this every year to kick off the holiday season and prepare our city for the Christmas Parade, which happens to be Monday, December 4, 2006 at 6:30 pm. Don’t forget that local participating merchants will be having open-house before the parade from 5:30 pm until the beginning of the parade.



Saddam Executed!!

By J. Mays

On Saturday, December 30, 2006 at about an hour before sunrise ( about 9 pm Central Time ) former dictator Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging. The execution took place in an undisclosed area of the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. Saddam and others were convicted of murder in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from an Iraqi town where assassins tried to kill Saddam in 1982.

It is reported that Saddam's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former judge Awad al-Bander will be hanged for the same crimes in January.


Christopher Dewayne Revis Sentenced to Death

By J Mays

Christopher Dewayne Revis, age 28, of Hamilton, Alabama went on trial in November 2006 for the February 2004 murder of Gerald "Jerry" Wayne Stidham of Hamilton.  Revis was found guilty of Capital Murder and received the first documented, jury-recommended death penalty in Marion County history. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, Judge John Bentley, 25th Judicial Circuit Judge, upheld the Jury's verdict of guilty and their recommendation of the death penalty and found Revis guilty of two counts of capital murder while engaging in robbery of the first degree.  Judge Bentley ordered the defendent, Christopher Dewayne Revis, to be sentenced to death by electrocution or by lethal injection.

Revis has as automatic appeal process.  He was held in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton until the paperwork was completed to transfer him to a Holman State Prison
in Atmore, Alabama

At Holman Prison Revis joins Wilson Earl Robitaille and David Lee Roberts, two other men convicted of Capital crimes commited in Marion County, AL and sentenced to death row.

Christopher Revis was one of three suspects arrested in the 2004 murder case.  Revis's brother, Jason Revis, 25, and uncle, Eddie Dean Revis, 48, are also charged in connection with the death.  At this time, trial dates have not been set for the other two suspects.

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)